Student Sets His Sights on F1 Career

October 30, 2023
Exclusive Interview with Aston Martin Formula 1 Team Member
Student Sets His Sights on F1 Career

In the fast-paced world of Formula 1 motor racing, dreams are often borne from the intoxicating blend of speed, precision engineering, strategic brilliance, and the allure of risk and reward.  For Sam*, a student at Marden High, this world wasn't just a distant fascination; it was a passion that had him firmly in its grip. His dream recently took an extraordinary turn when we secured for him an exclusive interview with a member of the prestigious Aston Martin Formula 1 team.

Sam's journey into the world of Formula 1 mirrors the growing fascination among today's young people. The roar of engines, the intricate engineering, the strategic manoeuvres, and the quest for victory all serve as powerful magnets for the next generation. What sets Sam apart is his dedication and deep understanding of the sport. He isn't a casual observer; he's a true fan.

Mark Gray, Head of Trackside Systems Integration

Sam's journey to the Aston Martin Formula 1 team began when he crossed paths with Mark, the head of car assembly at Aston Martin. Mark's role involves ensuring that every Aston Martin racing car is meticulously crafted before it hits the track. The opportunity for Sam to interview Mark wasn't a mere stroke of luck; it was the result of careful planning by both Sam and M10.  Before the interview, Sam spent time with the help of a teacher, preparing questions that would give him insight as to how he might pursue a path to F1.  They were excellent questions. Here at M10, through our Boys’ Network mentoring programme, we spoke with our volunteer mentor, Mark, to share Sam’s story. He was excited to take the opportunity to further invest in another young life.

Advice and Guidance

As you read on, you’ll see from the interview that Sam was able to ask questions not only relating to the exciting world of F1, but what life was like for Mark at the stage Sam is at now. Mark was able to encourage Sam to stick in, to focus on getting the best education he can and to look at a range of options that could lead him towards his dream career.

Mark: I struggled with English, Maths, and History but I thought, I’ve got to do this and I don’t want to fail.  So I just put everything I could into those last final years of school.  Really pushed myself outside of my comfort zone.  I surprised myself & my teachers.

Sam: Yeah, I’m still unsure about after I leave school what to do.  What did you do straight after?

Mark: I did a work experience week with VW.  I loved fixing cars.  After that, I asked them if they had any Saturday jobs, I didn’t get paid, I just wanted to fix cars.  Eventually, I got an apprenticeship.  It was four days in the workshop and 1 day at college.  I looked for weekend work with race cars, I just wanted the experience.  I chased my dream, it was tough and risky but I got there in the end.

For a Year 11 student to know exactly what they want to do when they leave school is not always realistic.  Careers education in school has developed and come a long way in the past ten years or so.  The school Sam is from are very forward thinking and adopt quite an holistic view where students and their futures are concerned.

Mark: I’ve got teenage kids at home and they haven’t got a clue what they want to do and what I’ve said to them is, do you know what? It doesn’t matter.  Go and find something you want to do whether it’s going to get a job or stay on in further education or whatever, if you want to do that, just go and do it, and then review it.

Investing in Young People

Mark knows the power of a conversation, the power of good advice and guidance ,and the power of investing in young people. Many young people today are eager to learn, grow and make a positive impact on the world. They are the futrure leaders, innovators, and change-makers. By providing them with the resources, support and opportunities they need, we not only empower them to reach their full potential but also ensure a brighter future for all.

If you would like to follow Mark's example and make a commitment to investing in young people, knowing your support and guidance can make a world of difference, please get in touch.

"That was amazing. I was really inspired by his route into F1." - Sam

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